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2007 UCI Track Cycling World Championships - CM

Spain, March 29-April 1, 2007

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Women's individual pursuit

Hammer time again

By Shane Stokes

2006 champion Sarah Hammer delivered on her vow to retain her individual pursuit title in Palma this evening, becoming the first to successfully defend the rainbow jersey in the individual pursuit since Rebecca Twigg in 1984/1985.

Hammer led from the very first lap, steadily building her lead over British rival Rebecca Romero. The former rower may have been far smoother on the bike but Hammer’s punchy style and facial expressions spoke of absolute determination to retain her crown.

After 125 metres she was already 0.337” up and by the halfway point, had extended this to 1.114”. From here until the end she put the win beyond question, hitting the finish with a time of 3’30.213, a full 3.196” clear of her opponent. This was over a second quicker than she had gone this morning in qualification.

“I wanted that so bad,” a delighted Hammer said immediately after coming off the track. “To do it twice [win the title] is amazing. That was an amazing performance by Romero. I knew she was going to be a heavy hitter coming in…I know her background and totally respect her. She is going to be one of the ones coming in [for future events].

“That was a great ride by both of us. I knew I would have to lay it all out on the line and I did that. I bettered my performance from this morning. I couldn’t be happier.”

She surprised many to win last time round, but this time everyone knew what she was capable of. “Obviously there was more pressure this year as defending champion. Last year there was a different kind, the pressure of not knowing what to expect. There wasn’t so much the pressure to perform then – I said many times that I knew coming in that I wanted to win, that I was capable of it, but the other people didn’t.

“This year was pretty much [a case of] coming in and saying, ‘see, I told you, last time wasn’t a fluke.’ It is the real deal, I am here to stay. Everyone was gunning for me this year. You could see how much the competition got brought up this year, there were some really good times on the board. I am really happy with how it went today, I was the fastest today and I couldn’t be more happy.”

Romero would have loved to have won the title, but was very proud of what she did. She took almost five seconds off her personal best this morning and broke the British national record, showing the huge progress she has made. “I am really happy. It was unexpected to be in the position that I was in, given where I was coming from [in relation to her background as a rower]. I thought that perhaps if Sarah didn’t perform today, knowing that she is only human, that perhaps I could turn it over. Being here, going for the gold kind of puts a downer on the silver, but overall, I am very happy with how things went.”

Meanwhile 2005 champion Katie Mactier (Australia) took bronze for the second year running, finishing 1.1” ahead of her rival Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain). She led all the way, although the Briton did reduce the gap slightly before the finish.


1 Sarah Hammer (United States Of America)     3.31.359 (51.097 km/h)
2 Rebecca Romero (Great Britain)              3.31.894
3 Katie Mactier (Australia)                   3.35.033
4 Wendy Houvenaghel (Great Britain)           3.35.289
5 Karin Thürig (Switzerland)                  3.36.126
6 Maria Luisa Calle Williams (Colombia)       3.36.971
7 Lesya Kalitovska (Ukraine)                  3.37.334
8 Alison Shanks (New Zealand)                 3.37.710
9 Verena Joos (Germany)                       3.38.821
10 Lada Kozlikova (Czech Republic)            3.39.295
11 Vilija Sereikaite (Lithuania)              3.40.412
12 Larissa Kleinmann (Germany)                3.40.727
13 Katherine Bates (Australia)                3.40.771
14 Cathy Moncassin Prime (France)             3.40.984
15 Trine Schmidt (Denmark)                    3.41.280
16 Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (Spain)         3.41.972
17 Marlijn Binnendijk (Netherlands)           3.43.343
18 Olga Slyusareva (Russian Federation)       3.43.759
19 Elizaveta Bochkarova (Ukraine)             3.44.680
20 Meifang Li (People's Republic of China)    3.45.651
21 Martina Ruzickova (Czech Republic)         3.46.193
22 Anita Valen (Norway)                       3.49.392
23 Li Wang (People's Republic of China)       3.49.943
24 Neva Day (United States Of America)        3.50.997


For Gold and Silver

1 Sarah Hammer (USA)                         3.30.213 (51.376 km/h)
2 Rebecca Romero (GBr)                       0.03.196

For bronze

3 Katie Mactier (Aus)                        3.36.306 (49.929 km/h)
4 Wendy Houvenaghel (GBr)                    0.07.193